UW Health is now performing a new non-surgical procedure for patients with congenital heart disease. This therapy will lead to improved quality of life and faster recovery times for many individuals living with this condition, including 24-year-old Cole Hefty.

Living with congenital heart disease has never deterred Hefty from pursuing the sport he loves. Some of the best moments in his life, he says, have come from playing competitive hockey throughout childhood and teaching the sport to young kids today. But when doctors told him last year that one of his heart valves was failing and needed to be replaced, he worried the recovery from open heart surgery would keep him off the ice for months. Thankfully, doctors at University Hospital had other plans for him.

In October, Hefty became the first patient at UW Health to receive the Harmony Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve (TPV), a new minimally-invasive device designed for patients with severe pulmonary valve regurgitation – a common condition for people with congenital heart disease. The device is designed to be delivered to the heart using a catheter instead of open-heart surgery. Instead of spending a week in the hospital and months recovering at home, Hefty left the hospital 24 hours after his procedure and was back skating with his team by the end of the week.

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